Chinese is spoken in China (over 980 million people), Hong Kong, and Taiwan (19 million people), but substantial numbers of speakers are also found throughout the whole of Southeast Asia, especially in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Communities of Chinese speakers can also be found in many other parts of the world, mainly in Europe, North and South America, and the Hawaiian Islands. Chinese is an official language of both China and Taiwan, and also one of the four official languages of Singapore. With our team of experienced, bilingual
Simplified Chinese translators, CET Central European
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Chinese (漢語) is made up of seven main dialects, Mandarin (官話), Cantonese (廣州話, 廣府話), Hakka (客家話), Wu (吳語), Min (閩語), Xiang (湘語), and Gan (贛語). Standard Chinese is represented by Mandarin, the speech used in the capital Beijing. The Chinese language used in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities is Cantonese which is quite different from Mandarin.
The Chinese characters have a history that spans over more than 3,000 years. The writing system is based on a set of written logograms which originated in the Shang Dynasty (16th - 11th century BC). Nowadays, there are two standard character sets used in writing Chinese. One of them uses Simplified Chinese characters which are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Xiandai Hanyu Tongyong Zibiao (List of Commonly Used Characters in Modern Chinese) for use in mainland China. The Chinese government, in the 1950s and 1960s, in an attempt to increase literacy, decided to simplify the writing system by reducing the number of strokes per character and reducing the number of characters in common use. Simplified Chinese is used now in mainland China.
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